Agriculture Extension and Outreach Advisor

Kampala, Uganda
Apply by 23 October 2017
Posted on 12 October 2017

Job Description

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

AGRICULTURE EXTENSION AND OUTREACH ADVISOR

Project Overview:

The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) partners with East African and U.S. businesses to attract investment that transforms the East African private sector into vibrant global trading partners. The Hub also promotes a more predictable, transparent and enabling business environment in East Africa by supporting adherence to intra-regional and international trade agreements and conformity to international standards.

As part of its collaboration with the USAID Mission in Uganda, the Hub will be embedding an Agriculture Extension and Outreach Advisor within the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to assist in the improvement in the delivery of agricultural extension services.

Background:

In order to improve farm production practices and increase farmer incomes, the Government of Uganda has committed to strengthening the Ministry of Agriculture, Animals Industry and Fisheries’ (MAAIF) extension capacity, as evidenced by the restructuring of agricultural extension along a single spine system, and creating the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES) in 2014.

As USAID concludes a strategy that placed greater emphasis on direct assistance through contracts and awards managed internally, and turns to a more facilitative approach, the time is right to entrench this skills set and others within the MAAIF and the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services.

More specifically, USAID proposes creating a position, jointly with MAAIF support, to: 1) transfer, scale and prioritize the village agent approach for extension across Uganda; 2) improve the strategic and policy formulation within the Directorate and MAAIF; 3) increase the capacity of MAAIF to communicate effectively with and manage the various stakeholders with whom it engages; and 4) assist MAAIF and the Directorate in the ability to gather and use data and evidence for improved decision making.

In Uganda, as the extension system is reconstructed and staffed up, there is a unique opportunity to link Government extension to the private-sector oriented agent model already proving to be successful.

The existence of village agent models, community-based facilitators, or other such actors is not unique to Uganda. As a way of building trust between larger traders and buyers and their client farmers who provide for them the raw materials needed to trade and process, village agent schemes are often deployed by the private sector. They act as effective distribution channels for inputs, extension messaging, and other goods and services that the farmers are willing to pay for and upstream businesses are willing to provide. For the agents themselves, it presents a unique, often commission-based business opportunity, acting as the intermediary or middle-man for delivery of this wide-range of services.

The position would support the entire National Agricultural Extension Strategy (2016/17-2020/21), but would have a particularly noticeable impact in support of Objective 1 by helping the Government of Uganda’s Directorate of agricultural extension service to coordinate extension services countrywide, including with public and non-state providers. This could be accomplished by identifying partners and collaborators at the national and district levels, leading efforts to establish zonal, multi-sectoral committees comprising of representatives from Districts and other actors for joint planning, review and harmonization of activities.

It also works in direct support of Objective 3 of the National Agricultural Extension Strategy by helping the Government of Uganda’s Directorate of Agricultural Extension develop a sustainable mechanism for packaging and disseminating appropriate technologies to all categories of farmers and beneficiaries in the agricultural sector. This includes, but is not limited to, strengthening the formal relationship between NARO and other research organizations to ensure their participation of extension services and farmers in identification, testing, evaluation, and up-scaling of technological solutions, including indigenous knowledge.

Specific Roles and Responsibilities:
  1. Technical and Programmatic Support
  2. Transferring, Scaling and Prioritizing the Village Agent Model as a model to improve the effectiveness of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and increase the incomes of farmers, traders and village agents.
  • Provide expert technical and policy advice to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Directorate of Extension, other relevant Ugandan ministries, USAID senior management, host country counterparts, development partner agencies, implementing partners, recipients, contractors, customers and other stakeholders, as appropriate.
  • Promote, mobilize, and integrate private sector and market system technical services and solutions under irrigated agriculture, livestock watering, farm power and machinery, farm planning systems, soil and water management, postharvest handling, agro-food processing, and other relevant behavior change messages in health and nutrition into field extension services.
  • Promote and implement the model in districts countrywide, beyond just the scope of the established focus zones under USAID’s Country Development and Cooperation Strategy and bringing on board more traders with local Government authorities collaboration.
  • Establish a training and certification program of Village Agents in coordination with Government extension services and with input from private sector players who either user these services as vehicles of distribution and receiving goods and services. Specific tasks and deliverables may include but are not limited to: (1) the development of reference manuals for Village Agents, which operate as codes of conduct and standards by which they conduct their business; and (2) the develop of a training manual, in close consultation with Ministry officials, for District Agriculture Officers on how the Village Agent model works and how it can be leveraged at the district level.
  • Develop content for Information and Communication Technologies modules and applications that can be used by the Ministry of Agriculture: an ICT platform called Ezy-Agric was developed by Feed the Future Uganda’s Commodity Production and Marketing Activity and Akorion, a local ICT business. This platform can be used by MAAIF to provide information to their network of extension staff. However, there is a need to have content on the platform that is verified and certified by MAAIF, especially on diseases, pests, and best practices. Once this is completed, the contractor will assist MAAIF in integrating Ezy-Agric into the existing extension delivery system.
  • Develop a budgeted plan for transferring, scaling and prioritizing the village agent model as to improve the effectiveness of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries;
  1. Strategy and Policy Formulation
  2. Provide expert technical and programmatic assistance, policy advice, guidance and support for all activities associated with the promotion and implementation of village agent-type models within the Government of Uganda’s extension system and with private sector players.
  3. Lead USAID’s “fit for purpose” assessment of the MAAIF to determine if the current structure, staffing, and funding of MAAIF is appropriate for accomplishing the various goals and purposes MAAIF has defined for itself. This assessment will be funded by USAID and will make recommendations for changes, as appropriate, to better fulfill the responsibilities of the Ministry.
  4. Increasing the Capacity of MAAIF in Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
  5. Serve as the lead technical resource, strategic planner, agency representative, and interlocutor with USAID/Uganda, district Government, the private sector and implementing partners on promoting efficiencies in agricultural extension and the adoption of the village agent model, as appropriate.
  6. Develop behavioral change training tools for District Agriculture Officers: Changing farmers’ behavior takes time and requires changing their mindsets. This will therefore require deliberate efforts to develop training tools such as guidelines and materials targeting specific behavior. E.g. Animation videos on postharvest handling practices and posters. The Agriculture Officers can use these to train village agents who will in turn train farmers. On the other hand, there is also need to change the mindset of the AO to believe and implement the Market Systems approach. These behavior change training tools will support the Extension Strategy’s goal of incorporating technical messages in other areas like health, nutrition, and WASH, include complementary messages extending beyond strict agricultural extension messages.
  7. Assist in the development of communication tools and policy briefs to advocate for improved extension services within MAAIF and the broader Government of Uganda [e.g., Office of the Prime Minister, Parliament, National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), and the Office of the President, as well as with district level officials].
  8. Assist with development partner coordination, integrating development partner investments in MAAIF and the Directorate of Extension.
  9. Assist in strengthening MAAIF’s external relationships with the Office of the Prime Minister, Parliament and other Government of Uganda entities through more strategic, improved and regular communications.
  10. Data/Evidence Gathering for improved decision-making
  11. Assist in the creation of a real-time, adaptive data collection/analysis system. Such a system lets information flow up from the farmer to the district to the central Government, have its impact on decision-making/content creation for extension messaging/ strategic decision-making, and then flow back down through the system to the district and farmer level in the form of improved services.
  12. Assist MAAIF and the Directorate of Extension in establishing a monitoring & evaluation, as well as budget, tool to track project progress and follow up on implementation of the various improved systems, whether they have to do with the village agent, strategy and policy formulation, data/evidence use for decision-making or communications and stakeholder relationship management.
  13. Monitoring and Evaluation, Analysis and Reporting
  • Provide expert advice and practical experience in helping the MAAIF and other ministries and partners monitor inputs, outcomes, and progress towards implementing the National Agricultural Extension Strategy.
  • Assist in developing monitoring and evaluation plans to track progress of work procured through this contract in line with the US Government targets.
  • Assist in the creation of a real-time, adaptive data collection/analysis system. Such a system lets information flow up from the farmer to the district to the central Government, have its impact on decision-making/content creation for extension messaging/ strategic decision-making, and then flow back down through the system to the district and farmer level in the form of improved services.
  1. Other Duties as Assigned
  • Undertake other tasks, as jointly petitioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and USAID Uganda.
Supervision and Evaluation of Performance:

The Advisor will operate under the supervision of the Hub’s Deputy Chief of Party-Technical, and in close coordination with the USAID/Uganda Feed the Future Coordinator. The Advisor will work in the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries who will provide agency, mission, office direction, and program management strategic guidance. Yearly work plans and objectives will be approved by USAID/Uganda, the Hub and the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services, jointly. The Advisor’s performance will be evaluated on the basis of his/her demonstrated ability to independently plan, design, and implement the discrete tasks found in this contract and, by extension, any subsequent work plans or work objectives. Performance will be evaluated on an annual basis.

Exercise of Judgement:

The Advisor will be expected to exercise a broad scope of independent judgment and refer to his or her immediate counterparts in MAAIF and USAID on matters pertaining to policy, priority or resolution of problems for which there is no clear precedent or commitment of funds. The Advisor must be able to manage a wide range of tasks across a broad spectrum of technical and management issues. Prior demonstrated ability to communicate tactfully and diplomatically and manage group dynamics is essential. The ability to meet multiple, often short, deadlines is also essential.

Authority to Make Technical Decisions:

As a contractor’s employee, the Advisor will follow technical direction from the Hub and USAID/Uganda while his/her role will be to provide technical assistance to the MMAIF, he/she will not have the authority to commit other resources without explicit approval from the Hub and USAID/Uganda.

Nature, Level and Purpose of Contacts:

As an exception granted by USAID/Uganda, the Advisor, a contractor’s employee, will have personal contacts with U.S Embassy personnel, Government of Uganda contacts, private sector players, and U.S. and local implementing partners. The incumbent will be expected to maintain contact with host Government agencies, NGOs, CSOs, faith-based organizations, and the private sector, as appropriate.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Background

  • Masters level or higher degree in agricultural extension, agribusiness or related field.
  • Broad knowledge of and expertise in the following fields and topics: agronomy, agricultural extension, economics, value chain development, market facilitation, and trade.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of development program administration and management.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Ugandan Government systems and structures.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years working in economic growth and/or agricultural development international, 6 years of which must have taken place in Uganda. Must have extensive experience working with host country Governments and knowledge of private sector players in Uganda.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning and program management.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading diverse teams and exercising independent judgment.
    Demonstrated experience producing high profile deliverables under tight deadlines.
    Demonstrated strong problem solving and analytical skills working on complex projects in a highly sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrated experience in working effectively in cross-cultural settings.

Interpersonal and management skills

  • Collegial and a demonstrated ability to work well with others.
  • Demonstrated strong management and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with a broad range of internal and external partners.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to train, coach, and mentor staff and teams.

Language and communication skills

  • Must be fluent in English and have proven ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare briefing documents, presentations, program reports and correspondence in a professional and competent manner requiring little to no editorial changes (in English).
  • Demonstrated superior analytical, writing and oral presentation skills, preparation of contractual scopes of work, technical reports, and policy briefs.

Period of Performance:

The Advisor position will be for one year. Extensions beyond this term will be subject to performance, availability of funds, and to the programmatic priorities of USAID/Uganda.

Base of Operations:
  • Kampala, Uganda

Interested applicants should apply via the link https://daieatradehub.formstack.com/forms/agriculture_extension_and_outreach_advisor by October 23, 2017, 11:59pm East Africa Local time. Only candidates who send their information via the link and by the deadline will be eligible.

Visit http://www.eatradehub.org/opportunities to view the scope of work and learn more about the Hub.

About the Organization

DAI is an employee-owned global development company. For 40 years, we have worked on the frontlines of international development, tackling fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governments, and instability. Currently, DAI is delivering results that matter in some 60 countries. Our integrated development solutions turn ideas into impact by bringing together fresh combinations of expertise and innovation across multiple disciplines—crisis mitigation and stability operations, democratic governance and public sector management, agriculture and agribusiness, private sector development and financial services, economics and trade, HIV/AIDS and disease control, water and natural resources management, and energy and climate change. Our clients include international development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and national governments.

More information

Agriculture Extension and Outreach Advisor - Uganda.pdf

Similar Jobs